A June-Tide Echo
(After a Richter concert)
In the long, sad time, when the sky was grey,
And the keen blast blew through the city drear,
When delight had fled from the night and the day,
My chill heart whispered, "June will be here!
"June with its roses a-sway in the sun,
Its glory of green on mead and tree."
Lo, now the sweet June-tide is nearly done,
June-tide, and never a joy for me
Is it so much of the gods that I pray?
Sure craved man never so slight a boon!
To be glad and glad in my heart one day —
One perfect day of the perfect June.
Sweet sounds to-night rose up, wave upon wave;
Sweet dreams were afloat in the balmy air.
This is the boon of the gods that I crave —
To be glad, as the music and night were fair.
For once, for one fleeting hour, to hold
The fair shape the music that rose and fell
Revealed and concealed like a veiling fold;
To catch for an instant the sweet June spell.
For once, for one hour, to catch and keep
The sweet June secret that mocks my heart;
Now lurking calm, like a thing asleep,
Now hither and thither with start and dart.
Then the sick, slow grief of the weary years,
The slow, sick grief and the sudden pain;
The long days of labour, the nights of tears —
No more these things would I hold in vain.
I would hold my life as a thing of worth;
Pour praise to the gods for a precious thing.
Lo, June in her fairness is on earth,
And never a joy does the niggard bring.
from A Minor Poet and other verse, 1884
[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]
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